Telkom has joined forces with the South African National Taxi Council to provide taxi users with free Wi-Fi. Speaking on Talk Radio 702, the CEO of Santaco, Nkululeko Buthelezi says, “The project is part of an improvement in the group’s taxi service.”
Santaco will allow various partners and other stakeholders to advertise using the platform as a way of paying for the service. “I can assure you it won’t cost the commuter an extra cent, it will contribute to the growth of the country in general,” says Buthelezi. He went on to say that the Wi-Fi would allow commuters to look for jobs and be able to socialise with their friends online. Which brings up a question of whether someone who is looking for a job can afford a smartphone, tablet or even a laptop to access the service. How Santaco plans to ensure the safety of its commuters while they access the service remains to be seen.
The roll out will see 1500 taxis and the top 10 major taxi ranks in Johannesburg being equipped with Wi-Fi which will be phase one of the project. It will then move to other provinces, as Santaco plans to roll out 4000-5000 Wi-Fi fitted taxis a month in partnership with Telkom.
Buthelezi claims that around 15 million commuters use their taxis on a daily basis and their aim is to entice private vehicle owners to uses taxi’s with the Wi-Fi roll out.